On The Cusp, Longlist - Commercial

The Sowetan (Newspaper) Know Your Place

Monde Gumede and Mpho Twala (co-directors)

The Rudeboy Collective

The brief was to show illustrative copy that took on the subjective standpoints and opinions of people who would seek to degrade black identities. We wanted to live in the nuance, and took lines that felt like micro-aggressions we come into contact with online. in the end, the objective was to pick iconic images that quietly stood in defiance of the micro-aggressions that led them.

Monde is a US born, Durban bred director based in Johannesburg. Monde spent the past five years cutting his teeth in LA with occasional film adventures to London, Tokyo, New York, Jakarta and back home to South Africa. Monde’s creative approach puts story-telling at the forefront and leans on genre, medium and craft to tell age old stories through a contemporary African gaze. Monde believes in complex, diverse and empowered characters and using every film as an opportunity to sharpen his voice as he strives to push each project an inch further than the last. 

Above all else, Monde’s excited to find his rhythm at a time where artists are claiming their agency and articulating their stories as they see fit. Here’s looking forward to collaborating with artists and agencies to articulate contemporary Global stories. What a time to be alive. ______ Mpho Twala in words is not quite the same as Mpho Twala in person. There are impressive things to write about, like his authentic, deeply sensitive work, the six years he spent honing his craft in Belgium, his production background, his ongoing role as a mentor, his massively successful work across Africa, his commitment to transforming the local industry one frame at a time, his love for his family, his love of sport, his lovely, generous demeanour. To truly understand this irrepressible force you need to feel his infectious energy, you need to experience his unwavering passion, see him shape a narrative in front of your eyes, coax a performance to life, mould a moment, inspire integrity, evoke emotions. If directing is exactly what it sounds like – guiding a range of elements towards the realisation of a powerful vision – then Mpho is the consummate director, gently but relentlessly navigating his team towards the mercurial. Mpho’s work is guided by his values and working methods, unconfined by genres or style. He’s all about real stories, unfiltered emotional authenticity, cultural accuracy and exploring how blackness is envisaged, depicted and viewed. Preferring to tackle problems rather than breeze through unchallenged, he digs deep in all cases, whether it’s a complex VX board, a dynamic music video, a joyous sporting spot or a touch of high fashion. His work across Africa, from Kenya and Ghana to Nigeria and Zambia, has won him multiple awards and ardent respect. The processes he brings to these projects; on-the-ground research, collaborative relationships and a commitment to capturing the most intricate of nuances – inform a body of work that is as truthful and meaningful as it gets. An irrepressible, infectious force, his immense love for life is evident in every single one of his inspiring, evocative frames.